JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Times of crisis always seem to bring out the con artists and hucksters, eager to take advantage of the ill-informed. Recent concerns over the spread of coronavirus are no different.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Tuesday that his office is suing televangelist Jim Bakker and his company, Morningside Church Productions Inc., for claiming to have a viable treatment for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The lawsuit alleges that on a February 12 broadcast of “The Jim Bakker Show,” Baker and his guest, self-professed naturopathic doctor Sherill Sellman, claimed the product Silver Solution can cure coronavirus.
The broadcast prompted the FDA, FTC, and the New York Attorney General’s Office to issue cease and desist letters to Bakker, demanding that he stop making unsupported claims.
The Feb. 12 episode was pulled from the show’s online archive. However, bottles of the Silver Solution can still be purchased from the show’s website, where they sell cases of the stuff for $300.
To be clear: Silver Solution cannot cure coronavirus. According to the FDA, there are no vaccines, pills, potions, or prescriptions that can cure COVID-19.
On Monday, Schmitt’s office issued a consumer alert to warn Missourians of potential price gouging and phishing scams related to coronavirus treatments. Anyone who suspects instances of price gouging or scams affiliated with COVID-19 is asked to call the Missouri AG’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or online at ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint.